Sunday, June 3, 2012
National Cancer Survivors Day
However this morning, I read a thought provoking blog writen by my friend Marie, along with some interesting follow up comments regarding this national holiday. (The post I read is http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/) Marie shared how some individuals struggle with the word survivor. Marie challenged us with these questions, "Is the word survivor just another label, or is it a word to be embraced?"
Here is my response to Marie:
Shortly after I was diagnosed and someone first called me a survivor, the hairs on my neck stood up. I found myself wrestling with the term? After all, I didn't do anything special. I was diagnosed with cancer. I did the treatment that was needed to try and save my life. Finally, I looked up the definition of survivor. According to www.freedictionary.com the definition of survivor is:
1. To remain alive or in existence.
2. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere
3. To remain functional or usable:
I, personally, don't see anything wrong with these definitions of survivor, and would say that all three definitions describe some part of my cancer journey. At times, for lack of better words, I have called myself and others, "survivors." For many of us, the cancer journey did and continues to provide hardships in our lives that many others don't or won't have to face. I don't believe this makes us better or worse, it just is...
We have two major hospitals in our area, and I was invited to both of their "National Survivor Celebrations" today. I declined. It's not that I am against the day or their choice to celebrate...to be honest, I am too busy celebrating the blessing of living.
How about you, what are your thoughts using the word "survivor" to describe someone who has or is walking the cancer journey?